Follow by Email

What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Step into my time machine week fifty-three- year 2 begins!

On this day in 1976, a young future 20 game winner named Mike Norris gave up a triple and 4 singles in a six-run third inning (or, more precisely, he did it the night before) as the Oakland A's lost to Detroit 8-1 behind a 2-hitter by Dave Roberts, who went to 3-0.  The loss drops the A's to 8-8, a half-game back of the Texas Rangers.  In the news, the Netherlands initiated the fluoridating of their water supply. And the weather? High of 62 wind at 7 mph (sounds familiar, huh?)  BUT AT LEAST WE HAD MUSIC!!!

Welcome to the first Time Machine of year number two.  Today we feature how to remember how to spell the name Papathanassiou (and why we'd want to), a guest appearance by Arthur Fiedler (albeit a brief one), an explanation of what "quiet storm" music is (also brief), and a guy named Homer who's at number one. (no, not THAT Homer.)  Step in, sit down, strap on, and let's go!

This has to be a record thus far on TM- we have but six hot 100 debuts.  On the bright side, though, we're going to mention a whopping 67% of them! Coming in at 99 are the Starland Vocal Band with Afternoon Delight.  At 94, my favorite funk song of all time, the Brothers Johnson with I'll Be Good To You.  At 85 Paul Simon charts with the title track to Still Crazy After All These Years, which may well have been his last song I actually liked.  And up at 77, Eric Carmen's second single off All By Myself, the slightly less morose Never Gonna Fall In Love Again.  (Don't take that to mean I don't like the song; I just have to reach for the anti-depressants after playing that album.)  The big dropper this week is former top dog Theme From SWAT, falling from 53 to 76 (23 notches); the big mover belongs to the Stones, with Fool To Cry rising from 69 to 47.

An almost but not quite shoutout to CW McCall and There Won't Be No Country Music (There Won't Be No Rock And Roll).  I was amazed to see this song, which I KNOW was top thirty pop locally, peak at 52 this week.  To exacerbate my WTF moment, I looked at it's Billboard stats and saw that while it made #19 on the country charts (and I had zero exposure to country back then, so no I'm not just confused), it only made 73 pop.  You guys look it up and see if you don't remember it.

Let's check out our countdown of the #1 albums of the seventies next.  We are up to the summer of '75, and for the four weeks of the 26th of July to the 23rd of August, the Eagles ruled the roost with One Of These Nights.  This album spawned the #1 title track, as well as the #2 Lyin' Eyes and #4 Take It To The Limit.  It also contained concert favorite After The Thrill Is Gone and a song called I Wish You Peace.  Written by Bernie Leadon and his then girlfriend Patti Davis (yes, Ronald Reagan's youngun), Don Henley described it as "swarmy cocktail music" that he wished they'd have cut from the album.  I'm sure Henley's attitude had something to do with Leadon's co-writer being a conservative's daughter; but after listening to it, he wasn't really far off, just a bit exaggerated.
After a quick return by Elton John's former #1 Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy on the 30th, we moved into September and the best selling Jefferson Airplane/Starship album ever, Red Octopus.  Containing the #3 Miracles and the #49 Play On Love, It was dominated by the return of Marty Balin to the fold, and he wrote 5 of the ten tracks.  It would return to the top 2 weeks later, but in the meantime two other lps took their turn.
The first of these, on the 13th of September, was The Heat Is On by the Isley Brothers.  Considered their best effort, it combined their rock-funk blend with what was called "quiet storm" music.  This genre, named for an example of the type by Smokey Robinson, is basically the kind of mellow, late-night soul you generally heard Venus Flytrap play on WKRP In Cincinnati.  The example they released was For The Love Of You, which hit #22; the non-example was the rowdy Fight The Power, which hit #4.

We have three new songs in the top forty this week.  At 38, up 10, is Neil Sedaka's Love In The Shadows.  His 19th overall top 40, it was also the sixth since his comeback after a 12-year slump that saw him score just seven chart hits- only three of them hitting the hot 100, and the highest making #76.  At 37, up 5, is the first of 2 top 40s for the Andrea True Connection, More More More.  True, who came to New York to be an actress, and actually got a bit part in a Diana Ross film, was working as a porn star with 60 films under her belt (so to speak) when she went to Jamaica to do a commercial spot and was trapped there when a government crisis prevented her from leaving with her hard earned money.  So she used it to record a song - this one- and became a singer until her third album flopped.  She returned to her previous calling, but finding there wasn't that much use for a 30+yo  porn actress (back then), she tried to return to music.  A throat goiter ended that, as well.  Last but not least, the high debut jumps from 41 to 23- Diana Ross' 12 th top 40 since leaving the Supremes, Love Hangover.

Nobody new came in the top 10 this week, so nobody leaves.

Taking our glancing blow at the #1s of other years, we're in the twos this week.  At #1 this week in 1992 was Jump by Kris Kross, which while not my idea of classic music is at least catchy.  in 1982 the top dog was by Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou (think papa- than- ass- i.o.u.), mercifully shortened on the single to Vangelis, with the Chariots Of Fire Theme.  In 1972, we were in the midst of the four week run of Roberta Flack's The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.  1962 finds us just a couple weeks shy of my birth, and Dee Dee Sharp at #1 with Mashed Potato Time.  To give you an idea of how much better music once was, take into consideration that Sharp had knocked Johnny Angel out of the top spot, and Soldier Boy and Stranger On The Shore (by Mr. Aker Bilk) loomed on the near horizon.  Oh, and Dee Dee was also at #6 assisting Chubby Checker with his hit Slow Twistin'.  In 1952, we have an instrumental piece called Blue Tango by a protege of Arthur Fiedler's named Leroy Anderson.  A composer of light classical pieces, this was the first hit composition he had after returning from a 1950 stint in the Korean War.

For at least my own benefit- Shannon sits just outside the top ten, with Strange Magic also moving up 3 to #15.

No more hall of fame!! Feel free to keep coming up with suggestions and we'll revisit the MHOF in October or so.

The Commodores slip a notch to open the top ten with Sweet Love.  Dr. Hook peaked at 5 last week and falls to 9 this week with Only Sixteen. Former top dog Johnny Taylor and Disco Lady tumble from 4 to 8.  The Elvin Bishop Band moves up from 10 to 7 with Fooled Around And Fell In Love.  Queen sits a second week at six with Bohemian Rhapsody.  Oddly enough, when I looked up the Kris Kross song, I saw he was two weeks away from being supplanted by this very song, in its 34th week and second chart run thanks to the Wayne's World movie.  Peter Frampton moves 2 to #5 with Show Me The Way. John Sebastian surges up 4 to the number four slot with Welcome Back.  Maxine Nightengale drops off the top spot to #3 with Right Back To Where We Started From.  The Sylver family move up one to the runner up slot with Boogie Fever.  And that means the new top dog this week is...

...the duo of David and Homer (who went by his middle name of Howard for some reason) Bellamy with Let Your Love Flow!

Okay, we're done here.  Step out of the vehicle, smoke 'em if you got 'em, and have a great weekend.

1 comment:

  1. CWM:

    Brother, do some of those tunes take me back - wish they would leave me there, but then I wouldn't have got to know you (or Scrappy) and the TIME MACHINE...LOL!

    Had a feeling you were talking VANGELIS with that long name..sounded "greek-ish" to me.
    (Blade RUnner soundtrack was really good as was The Bounty)

    GOnna be fun to see how long Bohemian Rhapsody stays up on the charts (yeah, I won't peek).

    Did not know all that about Andrea True...darn shame.

    I will have to check on that CW McCall song, too.

    I always thought it was a toss-up between Smokey and the Isleys for some of the smoothest R&B on the planet back then, too.

    Great ride this week.

    Keep those hits comin'!

    Stay safe up there.